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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: August 11, 2015, 09:10:11 PM

Somebody whom I respect in these things brings this to my attention:
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Hillary's server on: August 11, 2015, 04:32:18 PM
Why Did Taxpayers Foot The Bill For Maintaining Hillary's Private Server?
Published on on August 10, 2015
Hillary Clinton chose to use a private email system that she installed in her Chappaqua home, instead of using the official State Department system that was used by the rest of the more than 15,000 employees at State.

And taxpayers footed the bill for maintaining the data on both her personal and official email.

According to Hillary, her private emails server contained over 30,000 personal emails that she sent and received while Secretary of State. Hillary described them as covering her daughter's wedding, mother's funeral, family vacations, and yoga tips. She says they had absolutely nothing to do with State Department business.

So why did the State Department hire a former member of her political staff to maintain the server? Why were taxpayers charged for her private business?

The server also held an additional 30,000 emails that were official public records that she deliberately kept out of the State Department email system.

Again, why were taxpayers forced to foot the bill for her personal server that was set up for one reason -- to thwart the Freedom of Information process by keeping all of her emails, including public documents, -- out of the reach of the State Department? Should taxpayers pay the tab for her desire to frustrate federal laws about public records?

This was no accidental circumstance; it was deliberately orchestrated. Hillary apparently set up the system on the very day that she began her Senate confirmation hearings in early 2009. According to The New York Times, Justin Cooper a researcher on Bill Clinton's staff with "limited computer experience" and "no security clearance", arranged for the system.

Although Hillary publicly claimed that the server was originally installed for President Clinton's use and had many safeguards; that was not the case. The server was actually purchased by her political action committee during the 2008 campaign and installed in her house. The PAC continued to control it. Bryan Pagliano, formerly the IT specialist for Hillary's campaign, was given responsibility for maintaining the PAC's server.

Hillary's leadership PAC paid Pagliano for his work during the first four months that Hillary was Secretary of State. He obviously had no security clearance at that time, either. After April 2009, Pagliano was hired by the State Department and was responsible for the server.

So, for several months, all of the Secretary of State's official emails were processed through a server in her house that was paid for and maintained by her political organization. Is this a legitimate expenditure for a Congressional PAC? Looks like someone belatedly figured it out and foisted the cost on the American people.

So why should the taxpayers bear the brunt of her secret server?
They shouldn't.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pro-lifer reconsiders , , , on: August 11, 2015, 04:27:32 PM
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 11, 2015, 01:30:39 PM
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Carly Fiorina on Islam in 2001 on: August 11, 2015, 01:21:27 PM
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ailes on Trump and Kelly on: August 11, 2015, 01:05:14 PM
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bloomberg (!) White House should leave politics out of Iran deal on: August 11, 2015, 01:00:14 PM
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fisherman catches drone on: August 11, 2015, 09:39:11 AM
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 11, 2015, 09:35:12 AM
"Minimum wage law does not require an employer to pay an employee more.  It bans employers from keeping employees whose worth is less."

Excellent articulation.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 10, 2015, 03:07:58 PM
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / You'd have thought me a conspiracy theorist on: August 10, 2015, 03:02:20 PM
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / John Adams on Virtue in 1776 on: August 10, 2015, 02:05:05 PM
"Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honor, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions." —John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, 1776
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ISIS planning a hit on the Queen E and the Royals on: August 10, 2015, 01:45:27 PM
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NYC agency fires dead employee on: August 10, 2015, 01:41:48 PM
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Swedish model beloved of Progressives has a weak link , , , on: August 10, 2015, 01:18:40 PM
216  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: La Belleza de la Mujer on: August 10, 2015, 01:17:05 PM
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: IMF can't end dollar's reign on: August 10, 2015, 12:56:45 PM
Monday Morning Outlook
IMF Can't End Dollar's Reign To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 8/10/2015

Ever since Quantitative Easing began, a group of so-called Monetarist/Austrian thinkers have predicted “hyper-inflation” and the demise of the dollar as the world’s “reserve currency.”
In spite of the fact that gold has fallen and inflation remains low, scare stories about other countries dumping their Treasury securities, US interest rates skyrocketing, and a return of the trauma of 2008 proliferate. And, if that’s not enough, according to the pouting pundits of pessimism, the Federal Reserve won’t able to address the problem because long-term rates will be headed up, rather than down.
Now, these pundits have another flash point of fear because the International Monetary Fund is considering adding the Chinese currency, the yuan, to the basket of currencies it recognizes as “reserve currencies.” The yuan would bring the IMF’s list of key currencies to five, along with the dollar, yen, euro, and British pound. (Notice how no one is worried that the euro, yen, and pound already have that status.)
The idea that the IMF’s decision could trigger a selloff of US dollars and Treasuries makes no sense. The IMF’s “currency,” called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), is an accounting tool only; it’s not used as a store of value across time. By contrast, the key issues that decide whether the dollar maintains its status are the foreign appetite to own dollar-denominated securities, particularly Treasury debt, and the dollar’s share of international transactions. And in those two areas, the dollar is doing better than ever.
Back in 2005, foreign entities – foreign central banks, foreign companies, foreign individuals – were willing to own $2 trillion of US Treasury securities, equivalent to about 15% of US GDP and 4.5% of global GDP. Today, foreign entities are willing to hold about $6.2 trillion in Treasury debt, 35% of the US GDP and 7.9% of global GDP.
Even with these large holdings, there is likely more growth ahead. Imagine what’s going to happen as India’s economy continues to expand. As the Indian central bank issues more local currency, it must decide how to back it, and will likely choose dollars. Right now, India owns just $100 billion of US Treasuries, while China owns about $1.3 trillion. As India grows, demand for US Treasury securities will rise.
SWIFT – a global transaction settlement platform - tracks the share of global bank activity settling in various currencies. Since early 2012, the share settling in US dollars has risen to 45% from 31%. Meanwhile, the share settling in euros has dropped to 28% from 42%. The share in the Chinese yuan is up, but is still only 2%. This low level for the yuan suggests that it is not yet used enough for the IMF to include it in its SDR basket, but more importantly it means no matter what the IMF does, the Yuan is not a threat to the dollar.
No one should become completely complacent. The dollar “could” eventually lose its reserve currency status. But to lose that status, another country (or region) has to issue a currency that is stronger and safer than the dollar over long periods of time. The Swiss Franc probably passes that test, but the Swiss economy is just too small relative to the world economy for it to be a key reserve currency.
The dollar’s status as the world’s key reserve currency isn’t going away, and neither are the stories about the imminent demise of that special status (see Wesbury 101 on the topic).
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / RP: Trump a Ross Perot who will give us another Clinton on: August 10, 2015, 12:40:40 PM
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 10, 2015, 12:36:28 PM
FWIW I thought the debate quite well done by the FOX team.  The pointed, aggro questions were good examples the sort of thing attack that the Dems will bring.  Best to see now who can handle it.

As my posts on the Carly thread have stated all along, I have found her quite interesting.  With the debate she has moved up further in my estimation.  I confess, given my initial gut reaction to her announcement of her candidacy, I am surprised to realize that I can imagine supporting her for the presidency.  The others currently in that category for me (and this is a VERY fluid thing) are Ben Carson and Ted Cruz.

Carly handles aggro questions VERY well (see e.g. the Chris Matthews interview I posted on her thread on Saturday) by reframing them without a hint of snarkiness and packs a tremendous amount of real content into her answers in a very concentrated way.
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: August 10, 2015, 11:49:51 AM
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: August 10, 2015, 10:56:22 AM
I posted it on my FB page to general acclaim.
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: August 07, 2015, 09:33:14 AM
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 07, 2015, 09:31:38 AM
My mom used to be a liberal Dem many years ago, so that may be what you are thinking of.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 3D on: August 07, 2015, 08:55:46 AM

Bob Tita
Aug. 6, 2015 7:55 p.m. ET

The companies that make 3-D printers are struggling with an increasingly uncertain outlook as many potential buyers hold out for what they hope will be better, faster machines.

3D Systems Corp. , one of the biggest 3-D printer producers, on Thursday reported second-quarter sales and profit that fell short of expectations.

The Rock Hill, S.C., company said it swung to a net loss of $13.7 million in the period, from $2.1 million in profit a year earlier. Overall revenue rose, but organic sales, which exclude revenue from acquisitions and exchange-rate changes, slid 5%.

The results came after rival Stratasys Ltd. last week said its loss widened in the latest quarter to $22.9 million from $173,000 a year earlier, while its sales of printers and production materials fell 13%.

Both Stratasys and 3D Systems, which together accounted for more than a third of industry sales last year, also have discarded their guidance for the year.
From the digital file to the finished object, a primer on simple, desktop 3-D printing.

The move is an unanticipated slump in an industry where sales had been increasing around 34% annually for the past three years.

Both companies have acknowledged suffering quality and reliability problems with their printers as sales have increased rapidly and the companies absorbed acquisitions in recent years.

The expected household market for printers hasn’t caught on, despite widespread availability of printers at big-box retailers for under $5,000. Less than 10% of Stratasys’s annual sales come from home users, according to an analyst estimate.

“We felt all along there isn’t much of a consumer market for these machines,” said Terry Wohlers, a 3-D printer market consultant in Fort Collins, Colo. “They’re not easy to use. A lot of them in homes are sitting there collecting dust.”

Some analysts believe businesses, given tight budgets, are delaying purchases because of the limitations of the current models, and in anticipation that Hewlett-Packard Co. and other heavyweights from the two-dimensional printer industry could enter the 3-D market in the next year or two with faster-running, more reliable printers.
Is 2015 the year that 3-D printing goes mainstream? Deloitte & Touche’s Craig Wigginton discusses the outlook for 3-D printers with Sara Murray. Photo: Getty

“We’ve gone through an early adopter phase where [companies] bought printers to convey innovation,” said Brian Drab, an analyst for William Blair & Co. “We’re going into more mainstream adoption where you’re going to look silly if you make a capital investment in a printer that runs at 5% of the speed that’s coming onto the market. Why not wait?”

Industry executives have acknowledged that they are in a sluggish phase. “Our industry is now transforming through a period of slower growth as users digest recent investments in 3-D printing,” Stratasys CEO David Reis told analysts last week.

The 3-D printing process slices a digital image of an object into thousands of layers, which the printers then recreate one at a time in plastic, metal, sand or other materials.

The process can be applied to myriad objects and, theoretically, reduce complicated manufacturing processes to some key strokes on a home computer.

But while 3-D’s outsize potential stoked brisk demand for printers in recent years, the devices largely have settled into niche roles producing items like engineering prototypes; small volumes of hard-to-build components, and custom-made objects like hearing aids or dental appliances.

WSJ.D is the Journal’s home for tech news, analysis and product reviews.

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3-D printers remain too slow to supplant metal-cutting machines and plastic injection equipment widely used for high-volume manufacturing.

Theodore Ullrich, founder of Tomorrow Lab LLC, a product design consultancy in New York, said the firm’s two desktop 3-D printers are “always in use” producing plastic prototypes, but that parts break regularly and the printers require frequent adjustments to keep them in alignment.

“They’re fast and effective” for prototyping, he said. “It might be worth getting a new one, but we don’t know the reliability of the new ones yet.”

H-P has announced plans to begin selling a 3-D printer next year that applies powered plastic with jet sprayers adapted from its current ink printers. The company predicts its multi-jet fusion printer will be 10 times faster than other printers on the market because the plastic feedstock would be delivered from multiple outlets.

3D Systems said it is working to correct quality and performance problems with its printers, particularly those that produce metal objects.

“We’re disappointed with our results,” said 3D Systems Chief Executive Avi Reichental during a conference call Thursday. “We haven’t been able to fully remediate everything on the large-frame metal printers. But we’re making good progress.”

3D Systems said overall revenue, including sales from its service business, rose 12.5% to $170.5 million. Excluding special items, the company reported earnings per share of 3 cents, while analysts were expecting 8 cents from revenue of $171.6 million.

The company’s shares, which have slumped, jumped 16.2% to $13.60 Thursday. But that left them just slightly above their level a week earlier. So far this year, they have fallen 59%, while shares in Stratasys are down 63%.

Write to Bob Tita at
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Russia readies itself for unrest on: August 07, 2015, 08:42:26 AM*|DATE:|*&utm_content=Daily+Intelligence+Brief%3A+Aug.+7%2C+2015
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 07, 2015, 08:20:07 AM
Overall, I thought it was a well run debate with good questions and good to very good performances from most of the candidates.
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 07, 2015, 08:18:40 AM
My mom's views move around a bit but overall she is on the right side of things.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: August 07, 2015, 08:11:23 AM
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Congress's slip of the lip on: August 06, 2015, 02:57:35 PM
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The noose tightens a bit more , , , on: August 06, 2015, 02:56:00 PM
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 06, 2015, 02:37:36 PM
My mom, who is intrigued with Trump, tells me his solution was to bomb their oil fields. 
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Puerto Rico bankrupt 2.0 on: August 06, 2015, 02:36:01 PM
Though it is not a state, this thread seems the best place for this.

I do not vouch for all the particulars of this article (op-ed page of Pravda on the Hudson) but it seems worth reading for its historical background material and its identification of what is at stake.

Free Puerto Rico, America’s Colony


Continue reading the main story
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PUERTO RICO has begun to default on its bond payments, for the first time since it became part of the United States, 117 years ago. If it fails to make interest payments on its $72 billion public debt, pension funds across the United States may be unable to meet their payment obligations. But if it were allowed to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, as cities and counties have done, every state will want that right.

For this reason, the Puerto Rico crisis is a national financial crisis, one that neither President Obama nor Congress has taken steps to resolve. Even a simple debt restructuring — in the unlikely event bondholders agreed to it — would not solve the mess. With a population of 3.6 million, every person on the island would need to pay $1,400 a year — 9 percent of Puerto Rico’s per-capita income — just to cover this year’s $5 billion principal and interest payments on the debt.

The problem is not Puerto Rico, or even the vulture funds that have refused to renegotiate the island’s debts: It’s the rigged capitalism the United States has forced on its Caribbean colony.

The United States “liberated” Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898. The following year, Hurricane San Ciriaco destroyed millions of dollars in property and nearly the entire year’s coffee crop. Banks swept in, buying land at a steep discount.

Even worse, in 1901, property taxes on every remaining farmer in Puerto Rico were raised. Farmers were forced to borrow from American banks at usurious rates; many lost their land to foreclosure. By 1930, 34 percent of land in use was managed on behalf of absentee owners.

A once-diversified island harvest (coffee, tobacco, sugar and fruit) was turned into a one-crop economy, dependent on sugar. By 1930, a collection of syndicates controlled all of the island’s sugar farms.

With no money, crops or land, Puerto Ricans left for cities like San Juan, Ponce and Mayagüez. The Legislature enacted a minimum-wage law, but the United States Supreme Court did not recognize the constitutionality of the law until decades later.

In the 1950s, the United States began giving companies tax exemptions to produce cheap products like bras and razors on the island. But once the corporations found cheaper labor in Asia, the factories disappeared.

The most unfair law of all is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, which requires that every product that enters or leaves Puerto Rico — cars from Japan, engines from Germany, food from South America, medicine from Canada — must be carried on a United States ship.

A foreign-flagged vessel may directly enter Puerto Rico — but only after paying taxes, customs and import fees that often double the price of the goods it carries.

This is not a business model. It is a shakedown, a form of legalized price-fixing, the maritime version of a protection racket. From 1970 through 2010, the Jones Act cost Puerto Rico $29 billion.

If the Jones Act did not exist, neither would the island’s debt, and tens of thousands of maritime jobs would shift to the island from Jacksonville, Fla., where the giant carriers Crowley, Horizon Lines and Sea Star Line conduct their offloading and reloading for shipment to Puerto Rico.

Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

Puerto Rico has more Walgreens and Walmarts per square mile than any other part of the country. It’s a dumping ground for cheap American-made exports.
Continue reading the main story
Recent Comments
Jim M.
1 hour ago

The residents of Puerto Rico elected ineffective politicians that raised the minimum wage to a level much higher than the average wage,...
1 hour ago

Not once does this article mention Prepa and the cronyism that takes place there and in goverment. The power company is the singular reason...
1 hour ago

There is another option: Return the island to Spain. I think it is time for US to transfer sovereignty over Puerto Rico to their mother...

    See All Comments

Car prices are typically $6,000 higher in Puerto Rico than in mainland United States. Some products, like unprocessed food items, cost twice as much as on the mainland. The cost of living is higher in Puerto Rico, even though per-capita income is less than half that of Mississippi, the poorest state.

When a set of tax exemptions expired in 2006, pharmaceutical companies abandoned the island, the final blow to its manufacturing sector. Without a real private sector, the government became the island’s largest employer.

The island’s Legislature has done what creditors and bond rating agencies have demanded: Since 2010, it has laid off workers; raised prices for water, gasoline and electricity; increased property, sales and small-business taxes; cut public pensions and health benefits; raised the retirement age; and closed schools.

No surprise that over the past 10 years, nearly 400,000 Puerto Ricans have moved, many to Central Florida. With a shrinking tax base, Puerto Ricans are unable to meet this burden. Gov. Alejandro García Padilla calls it a “death spiral.”

What can be done? The Jones Act must be repealed, right away. Congress will have to overcome opposition from lobbyists for the Jacksonville-based carrier companies that control trade to the island.

All import fees levied on foreign-flagged vessels should be paid into the Puerto Rican Treasury, not the merchant marine. Any tax abatement deals for corporations should require the reinvestment of a stipulated percentage of profits into Puerto Rican infrastructure and industrial development. Puerto Rico must be permitted to develop its own shipping industry and, eventually, negotiate its own international trade agreements.

Independence is the only solution, for Puerto Rico and the United States. After 117 years, many Puerto Ricans are victims of Stockholm syndrome, fearful of losing the “safety net” of United States benefits. But it’s clear that the safety net is a chimera. A gradual transition to independence (like that of the Philippines in 1946) would allow both island and mainland to adjust to a sovereign and self-sustaining Republic of Puerto Rico. It is the only way to end this colonial tragedy.

Nelson A. Denis, a former New York State assemblyman, is the author of “War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony.”
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 06, 2015, 02:20:06 PM
Trump Can Win
Published on on August 6, 2015
Donald Trump isn't going to drop out or suddenly leave the race. And he might just win it.

Trump has firmly planted his feet on the no-man's-land between the reality all Americans see around them and the fiction the conventional wisdom and politically correct speech define. In the process, he has increased his vote share to a lead in the Republican primary and improved his favorability rating by 17 points.
In the July 30 Quinnipiac Poll, he registered a 50-33 favorable rating among Republicans and a 27-59 among all voters. This rating was a big improvement over the 20-69 rating he had with all voters in their previous poll.

The establishment is waiting for Trump to make a mistake. But even as he tip-toes over the line of political correctness, his detractors need to understand that he - unlike they - is a media pro. Where they may occasionally appear on camera, Trump does it every week. He constantly threads his way between critics and says what he thinks. Doing so in a political context is no big deal for him.

Trump has taken the care -- whether by learning or intuition -- to align his own attitudes with what the people are thinking. He reacts to events with the same visceral understanding of what is going on as does the man in the street. In this, he is a throwback to Harry Truman.

He says what we think and what the other politicians do not dare to say.

He speaks openly and plainly about the link between illegal immigration and crime. The fact is that 800,000 people who are illegally in the United States have been convicted of a felony or a serious misdemeanor. Why are they still here? We had them in our custody -- why did we let them go? How many times must we throw them out before we devise a system that blocks their re-entry?

These are the questions Americans are asking. But the political establishment goes into a panic when crime and immigration are mentioned in the same sentence, lest they appear racist. But facts are facts. We would likely have one-third less crime in the United States if we had no illegal immigrants within our borders.

While politicians fret about income inequality and the left speaks of raising taxes on wealthy people in order to give more to the rest of us, Trump boldly faces the question of how China is decimating the manufacturing industries of America. Why won't the others discuss this fact? Because they are allied with corporate management that makes money from importing its products rather than producing them in the United States at a decent wage.

Trump correctly states that the major factors in depressing the wages of our American workers are imports on the one hand and illegal immigration on the other. How can Americans expect to get a decent wage when there are people willing to work dirt cheap as long as they can get a job?

This is the age-old question Republicans like Abraham Lincoln have been asking since slavery. You cannot permit so large an influx at the bottom of the pay scale and expect the rest of us to earn decent living.

There are other areas Trump needs to explore.

Disability: While there are many truly disabled people getting needed benefits, a great many of those who have recently joined the rolls are not truly needy. To some extent or another, they are faking their way to benefits.

There has been virtually no increase in the number of people with real diseases like cancer, heart disease, or strokes that are claiming disabilities. All the increase has been in hard-to-measure problems like back pain and psychological trauma. President Jimmy Carter stopped requiring a medical exam or even a note from a doctor to apply for disability. Since then, the way has been open for a massive influx onto the rolls. There are very, very few who ever get off disability and go back to work.

Obama wants to encourage the maximum use of disability and other programs to increase the number of people who depend on the government and will, likely, vote as they are told.

Welfare Benefits: Entitlements of all sorts used to comprise one-third of the federal budget, 20 years ago. Now they make up two-thirds.

About one-third of our entire population is receiving welfare benefits - payments tied to need. This does not include those on Social Security or Medicare or veterans benefits -- benefits we have paid into during our working years or have earned by our service in the military. The stat includes over 50 different welfare programs, many of which are beset with massive fraud. Particularly, the Earned Income Tax Credit program has been found, in government audits, to be paying out almost a third of its money to people who are no eligible.

In the past, when America began to recover from recessions and unemployment dropped, the number of people on food stamps has decreased as well. But that hasn't happened now. Obama is signing up people for food stamps and encouraging them to stay there regardless of their need.

ObamaCare: Polling shows that the American people value certain aspects of the program: the guarantee that coverage will be possible regardless of pre-existing conditions, the prohibition against raising rates or dropping coverage when you get sick, the coverage of kids up to 26. The polling also shows that Americans are very unhappy with the requirement that everybody buy insurance and that businesses have to provide insurance for all full-time workers. If the GOP concentrated on repealing these dual mandates, they could probably get 60 votes in the Senate to pass it and, very possibly, get enough to override Obama's veto.

Trump goes where the others fear to tread. It is their timidity that makes Donald's courage obvious. He's not getting out of the race. Indeed, he could win.
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Contrast treatment of Hillary on: August 06, 2015, 12:53:04 PM

235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Washington, first Inaugural 1789 on: August 06, 2015, 12:49:54 PM
"The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world." —George Washington, First Inaugural Address, 1789
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rove rips Trump yet another new anus on: August 06, 2015, 12:34:43 PM
second post

Karl Rove
Aug. 5, 2015 6:23 p.m. ET

Which Donald J. Trump will show up at Thursday night’s Republican debate in Cleveland?

There’s the Trump who calls the other GOP candidates “clowns” and responds to criticism with schoolyard insults. Then there’s the Trump who last week tweeted about the coming debate: “it is certainly my intention to be very nice & highly respectful of the other candidates.” Mr. Trump seems to have recognized that as the candidate atop the Republican heap, he now will be held to a higher standard than he was as a celebrity polling in low single digits.

Even more interesting than the style Mr. Trump brings to the stage is what opinions he has with him. Over the years he’s held many conflicting positions on many important issues.

Will the Trump who walks on stage Thursday night be the one who in 1999 told CNN’s Larry King that “I’m quite liberal and getting much more liberal on health care”? The one who wrote in his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve,” that the U.S. should consider a single-payer health system like Canada’s government-run plan? That system “helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans,” this Trump wrote. “We need, as a nation, to re-examine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.” Or will debate viewers instead get the Donald Trump who earlier this year called ObamaCare a “filthy lie” and “total catastrophe”?

The Trump who shows up Thursday night could be the one who in 1999 told NBC’s “Meet the Press” during a conversation on abortion that “I’m very pro-choice.” Or it could be the Trump who told Bloomberg Politics in January that “I’m pro-life and I have been pro-life,” and who now says he’s willing to shut down the federal government to defund Planned Parenthood.

The Trump who in 2000 wrote, “I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun” might be there. Or it might be the Trump who told AmmoLand last month that “the Second Amendment is a bedrock natural right of the individual to defend self, family, and property.”

On Thursday night Trump the taxman could show up. “I would impose a one-time, 14.25 percent tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million,” he wrote in that 2000 book. But so might the antitax Trump. “I fight like hell to pay as little as possible for two reasons. Number one, I’m a businessman,” he said on Sunday. “The other reason is that I hate the way our government spends our taxes. I hate the way they waste our money. Trillions and trillions of dollars of waste and abuse.”

One Trump opposed the flat tax offered by Steve Forbes in 2000, writing in his book that “only the wealthy would reap a windfall.” The other Trump said on Fox News earlier this year that he favors “a fair tax, a flat tax or certainly a simplified code.”

The Trump who tweeted last Sunday that GOP presidential candidates who spoke at the Koch donor conference were “puppets” might attend the debate. But so might the Trump who was a registered Democrat for most of the 2000s, who donated thousands of dollars to Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, and who explained those gifts recently by saying, “I’ve contributed to everybody. They did whatever I said.” It would be worth knowing what this Trump told Sens. Reid, Clinton, Kennedy and Kerry to do.

This may be the same Trump who gave $20,000 in 2006 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to help elect a Democratic majority in the House and make Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaker, and the one who says he knows politicians are controlled by their big donors because “I used to be one of those people.”

Thursday night, Americans could see the Trump who criticized Mitt Romney in a November 2012 interview for his “crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal. It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote. He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.”

In this same interview, this Trump said Republicans need to back comprehensive immigration reform “to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country.” Or viewers could see the Trump who characterized immigrants this way in June: “You have people coming in, and I’m not just saying Mexicans—I’m talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists, and they’re coming into this country.”

There’s even a Trump out there who was a registered Democrat in 2004 because, as he told CNN, “It just seems that the economy does better under Democrats.”

Whichever version of Trump appears at the debate Thursday, it will be interesting to see how Republicans react—and whether the moderators drag any of the other Trumps on stage, too.

Mr. Rove, a former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads.

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George de Luna
George de Luna 2 minutes ago

This is a fair article by Karl Rove.I was expecting more trashing of Trump.
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Jeffrey Krause
Jeffrey Krause 7 minutes ago

I'm a big fan of Trump but this one bothers me a lot. 

"Trump who was a registered Democrat in 2004 because, as he told CNN, “It just seems that the economy does better under Democrats.”

I would like to see him explain that.

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Robert Morris
Robert Morris 9 minutes ago

As has been pointed out below, politicians often change their minds. However, I have trouble believing that Trump's current statements reflect his true beliefs.

John Maynard Keynes famously said that when the facts changed, he changed his mind. What facts have changed that would have made Donald Trump change his mind 180 degrees since 2000 on so many issues as pointed out by Karl Rove? Part of conservatism is the belief that certain principles are timeless, so changing with the political winds, as Trump has appeared to do, looks mighty suspicious to me.

If the GOP had followed through on their 2014 election promises, i.e. reign in Obama's executive orders, do something about illegal immigration, do something about IRS abuses, etc. then Trump wouldn't have a candidacy.   The fact that they have done nothing, and I could argue worse than nothing given their support for DOA trade agreements and the idiotic Corker bill, gives someone outside the GOP a better chance than someone inside.   Sorry dedicated GOP'ers, that is just a fact, they blew it, and only Trump can give it back to them, either on purpose or by self destructing.  But all of this criticism that he isn't "disciplined" like regular politicians misses the point so badly that it is embarrassing.

237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nat Review gives Trump a new anus on: August 06, 2015, 12:06:05 PM
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 06, 2015, 11:58:33 AM
It would not surprise me if Carson surprises to the upside.
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 05, 2015, 11:53:39 PM
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Bush Presidency; GW Bush on: August 05, 2015, 11:46:12 PM
241  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crime and Punishment on: August 05, 2015, 09:08:15 PM
Keep them locked up but with human interaction, even if through the bars of the cells, as part of the equation.
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The pressure builds on: August 05, 2015, 08:10:23 PM

A group of former special operations forces and intelligence community members are calling on the State Department to revoke “any and all security clearances” still held by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her confidants in the wake of revelations Clinton used a private email server to transfer classified information.

OPSEC, an advocacy group comprised of former intelligence and security officials, petitioned Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday to revoke classified privileges for Clinton, as well as her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, her former deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, and her top adviser Huma Abedin, according to a copy of the letter.

The group maintains that Clinton and her allies should have their clearances revoked until government agencies can determine whether they broke the law by exchanging emails on a private email server outside of the State Department’s jurisdiction.

At least two inspectors general at the State Department and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) have come forward to say that classified information had been mishandled during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

“These four very senior officials, … while still employed by the Department, violated a plethora of department directives and Title 18 U.S. Code by their involvement with a privately owned and operated email server and domain to send and receive official emails, some of which contained” classified and secret information, OPSEC writes in its letter.

Clinton may have violated at least four laws governing the exchange of sensitive information, according to OPSEC.

The violations include removing information, some of it classified, and storing it in an “unauthorized location.” The law also forbids the disclosure of Foreign Government Information (FGI), whether it is classified or not, according to OPSEC.

Clinton and her allies may have also violated laws pertaining to Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) materials, Personally Identifying Information (PII), and Critical Infrastructure Information (CII), OPSEC says.

“There is ample evidence that this private server was inadequately protected from foreign intelligence penetration and malicious ‘hacking,’” OPSEC writes in its letter to Kerry. “Indeed, the existence of this server and its use by senior State Department officials to send and receive official emails was first disclosed publicly by a hacker from Romania.”

The State Department should adhere to normal protocol by revoking all security clearances for Clinton and her former advisers, the group writes.

“The Department of State should exercise its administrative authority to suspend any existing security clearances of these four individuals and those of any and all other individuals currently or formerly in the employ of the United States Government who may have used in any form the service, pending final adjudication,” they letter states.

Scott Taylor, president of OPSEC, said in a statement that the State Department should not play political games when national security secrets are at stake.

“The American people must be assured that the Departments of State and Justice and the relevant congressional oversight committees are committed to ensuring that the laws and policies governing handling of classified materials are efficiently and consistently enforced to protect the national security of this country and its citizens,” Taylor said.  “Hence, we call on Secretary Kerry to take immediately the first and essential step in fulfilling that obligation.”

A State Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a Washington Free Beacon request for comment on OPSEC’s letter and the claims made by the group.
243  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Zapata's Howl on: August 05, 2015, 11:27:48 AM
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Washington Farewell Address 1796 on: August 05, 2015, 11:04:29 AM
"The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism." —George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: August 05, 2015, 10:56:16 AM
Ten weeks before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., a financial disaster that ushered in the global economic crisis in September 2008, Jeb Bush was in Mexico City to seek help from billionaire Carlos Slim.

Mr. Bush signed on with Lehman after leaving the Florida governor’s mansion, making it clear he wanted work as a hands-on investment banker rather than hold a ceremonial role typically given ex-politicians. Now was his chance.

Mr. Bush was a longtime acquaintance of Mr. Slim, at the time ranked as the world’s second wealthiest individual and one of several deep-pocketed investors on Lehman’s radar. “Project Verde” was supposed to bring home badly needed cash and confidence. Mr. Slim, however, was more interested in talking baseball than investing in the troubled firm.

More doors closed that summer before Lehman shut its own, but Mr. Bush, following in the footsteps of a grandfather and great-grandfather, latched onto investment banking through the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

For more than seven years, nearly the length of his two gubernatorial terms, Mr. Bush, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, spent as much as half of his working hours advising Lehman and later Barclays, which bought the collapsed investment bank’s U.S. business. He wasn’t an employee of the firms, said people familiar with the matter, but was paid to attend meetings, dinners and conferences where he spoke to clients and bank executives on such subjects as health care, education, immigration and energy—matters he has started taking up this year with voters.

Mr. Bush earned about $1.3 million a year at Lehman and some $2 million from Barclays, his campaign said.

Bankers and trading executives described Mr. Bush’s contributions as “rich in content,” which on Wall Street translates to having the kind of timely expertise that clients expect from top firms on topics essential to their investments.

“I spent a lot of time, I probably spent about 40% of my time working for Barclays,” Mr. Bush told reporters in June. “I did a lot of their conferences where I spoke and I interacted with their clients.”

Mr. Bush received a warm welcome on Wall Street, where financial firms often seek former political figures to help open doors. At least six firms offered Mr. Bush a position when he finished his second term as governor in January 2007, according to people familiar with the matter.

When he joined Lehman in June that year, Mr. Bush was the brother of a sitting U.S. president, George W. Bush, and already had ties with the investment bank, known for its scrappy culture and aggressive management team led by chief executive Richard Fuld, a longtime Democrat.

Mr. Bush would spend most of his time at Lehman working under Steve Lessing, who had been a “Ranger” for George W. Bush, a title for supporters who raised at least $200,000 for Mr. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign. Mr. Lessing headed client-relationship management and was the face of the firm to many money managers, hedge funds and insurance companies.

Mr. Bush soon drew the attention of Lehman’s senior investment bankers, who looked for ways to put him in front of clients. He appeared at conferences for health-care clients and corporate directors, and joined a ski junket for bankers, people familiar with the matter said. He crisscrossed the country and flew commercial, often alone.

In late 2007, Lehman executives who spotted him striding past in midtown Manhattan— BlackBerry pressed to his ear—said they recalled thinking that Mr. Bush, in a matter of months, had completed his transition from governor to harried bank executive. “This guy is the brother of the president, just walking by himself, no security,” a former Lehman manager said.

Mr. Bush said he spent most of his time at Lehman “dealing with their customer base, providing insights in things like the madness of Washington, D.C.”

More than a dozen of Mr. Bush’s former colleagues and clients described him as focused, blunt and often opinionated. Unlike most former politicians in finance, Mr. Bush was seen as “commercial,” almost a term of endearment on Wall Street meaning he understood how bankers prepared for meetings, advised clients and made money. He frequently reminded clients he was part of a team and ended meetings with a “thank you for letting us work for you,” or a direct appeal to hire the bank, recalled one former Barclays banker.

Mr. Bush’s banking experience is unusual for a presidential candidate, said Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. More common backgrounds are in law, politics or the U.S. military. Finance, however, is part of the Bush family history. Jeb’s great-grandfather, George Herbert Walker, and grandfather, Prescott Bush, both worked at the firm that became investment bank Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

“I’d say for the Kennedys, politics was in their DNA,” Ms. Perry said. “In the case of the Bushes, it’s both politics and high finance.”

Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich, another candidate for the GOP nomination, also worked as a managing director at Lehman in the eight years leading up its 2008 demise.

Mr. Bush’s Wall Street work could play well with many traditional Republican voters. It also could be a lightning rod for criticism.

Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, was pilloried by some of his Republican primary competitors, as well as President Barack Obama’s campaigners, for his longtime work as a private-equity executive.

“If 2012 taught us anything, it is that you have to be well-prepared to tell your story about your business experience in a proactive way before your opponents frame it negatively around your neck as an albatross with voters,” said Kevin Madden, a top aide to Mr. Romney during his 2008 election bid.

Mr. Bush has previously taken a softer line toward the financial sector than his campaign rivals, particularly Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who are also seeking the Republican nomination.

Earlier this year, a political-action committee that has endorsed Mr. Paul launched an ad campaign dubbed “Bailout Bush.” The group criticized Mr. Bush for, among other things, his stints at Lehman and Barclays, as well as his past endorsement of government support for banks during the crisis.

At a November 2013 event for a Wall Street trade group, Mr. Bush said banks have been unfairly maligned. Privately, he has voiced issues with the landmark Dodd-Frank bill to overhaul financial regulations after the crisis.

“If you listen to most of the media, the banks and the financial industries in general are bad, and they should be shrunk or taken apart,” Mr. Bush said at the 2013 gathering, adding that a “strong banking sector is essential to provide the capital that fuels economic growth.”

He also said that banks, “while having made some terrible and costly decisions in the past, are now doing business in a much more responsible way.”

Mr. Bush’s contracts with Lehman and Barclays stipulated the firms wouldn’t ask him to lobby Washington, people familiar with the matter said. As Barclays and other banks scrambled to influence the wave of new rules in the wake of the financial crisis, former colleagues said, Mr. Bush stayed out of it.

Around the time of his 2008 Mexico City trip, Mr. Bush was on the board of a Lehman fund pursuing investments in toll roads and other public works. His successor, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, in the months after Mr. Bush left office, had signed a bill allowing the state to lease some toll roads, including a stretch of interstate 75, known as Alligator Alley.

Mr. Bush studied documents and advised Lehman executives on the deal, as well as the state’s political pitfalls, according to people familiar with the discussions. Mr. Bush brought lots of energy and “creative problem-solving skills” to Lehman, said Emil Henry, a former executive with the firm who has been active in GOP politics.

By August 2008, Lehman had joined a consortium that was among six bidders on the project. The firm collapsed the following month and Barclays, a U.K.-based lender, bought its U.S. operations following a bankruptcy filing.
Lehman’s fall

Mr. Bush said he wasn’t consulted about Lehman’s difficulties as it veered toward bankruptcy, according to congressional testimony and people familiar with the matter. During a 2012 U.S. House committee hearing, he said no one asked him to intervene on behalf of the firm. Mr. Bush said Mr. Fuld, Lehman’s chief executive, “didn’t ask me to do anything, and I didn’t do anything.”

Mr. Fuld had weighed asking Mr. Bush to call his brother, the president, and raised the idea to some of his executives, people familiar with the matter said. They urged their boss against it, arguing it would put the Bush brothers in an awkward position, the people said, and they doubted it would help.

After Lehman’s collapse, Mr. Bush followed Mr. Lessing to Barclays as a senior adviser, a post he kept until stepping down in December 2014 to weigh a presidential run. The request to keep Mr. Bush after the takeover was blessed by Robert Diamond, then Barclays’s chief executive and a Massachusetts native who had been a fundraiser for John McCain’s 2008 campaign, people familiar with the matter said.

Executives at insurer MetLife Inc. came to view Mr. Bush as part of Barclays’ “coverage team,” the bankers who would regularly call on the insurance company’s leaders, according to people familiar with the matter.

While at Barclays, Mr. Bush also became a trusted adviser to Cigna Inc. Chief Executive David Cordani, people familiar with the matter said.

“Our discussions with key leaders, including Jeb Bush, enable us to understand the perspectives of key thought leaders and share our ideas,” said a spokesman at Cigna, a Bloomfield, Conn., health insurer.

The Affordable Care Act has helped draw Cigna and other managed-care companies into a merger frenzy to save costs and expand market share. Last month, Cigna agreed to sell itself to rival Anthem Inc.

Mr. Lessing said Mr. Bush “added unquestionable value to our clients over the years, and we are delighted they were able to benefit from his time as a senior adviser with us.”

“It wasn’t the Barclays view, it was the Jeb view, about how the world works and it seems to have been quite effective,” Mr. Bush said during the June news briefing. “The amount of time I spent traveling the world talking to their top clients was an indication that I did add value for the enterprise.”

Mr. Bush’s life on Wall Street marked a return to finance. After graduating from the University of Texas in 1974, he took a job at Texas Commerce Bank, a lender founded by the family of James Baker III, who later held cabinet posts in the administration of Mr. Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush.

Jeb Bush had joined the bank’s international division, where he worked on analyzing sovereign risks. While based in Caracas, Venezuela, he was frequently on the road to meet clients, extending the banks’ reach to Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile. He took a leave of absence in 1980 to work on his father’s campaign and never returned.

Mr. Bush’s fluency in Spanish and extensive experience in Latin America made him a good choice for the July 2, 2008, trip to Mexico City. He also knew Mr. Slim well: the Mexican billionaire had lent a collection of small-scale Rodin sculptures for the Florida governor’s mansion when Mr. Bush lived there.

Lehman was canvassing a number of rival banks and financial companies in the wake of Bear Stearns Cos.’s near-collapse and rescue by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. earlier that year.

The trip also gave Mr. Bush a chance to accompany Arizona’s Sen. McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, for part of a campaign swing to Latin America. On July 3, Mr. Bush joined Mr. McCain and his wife for a tour of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Mr. Bush and a handful of Lehman advisers also met with Mr. Slim in his office that day to propose a number of deals, including an investment in Lehman. The answer, the Lehman team soon learned, was no.

“Project verde was unsuccessful,” Mr. Bush wrote to a colleague after the meeting in a July 5, 2008 email made public during Lehman’s bankruptcy proceedings. “He did not express interest in jv or stock purchase.”

About two months later, on the Monday that Lehman filed for bankruptcy, Mr. Bush was in Florida alongside Mr. McCain.

At a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Mr. McCain railed against the Bush administration’s failure to regulate Wall Street and said taxpayers shouldn’t pay for Lehman’s bailout. “I promise you we will never put America in this position again,” Mr. McCain told voters. “We will clean up Wall Street.”

Write to Justin Baer at
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Cecil the Lion on: August 05, 2015, 09:51:11 AM
In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions
Winston-Salem, N.C. — MY mind was absorbed by the biochemistry of gene editing when the text messages and Facebook posts distracted me.
So sorry about Cecil.
Did Cecil live near your place in Zimbabwe?
Cecil who? I wondered. When I turned on the news and discovered that the messages were about a lion killed by an American dentist, the village boy inside me instinctively cheered: One lion fewer to menace families like mine.
My excitement was doused when I realized that the lion killer was being painted as the villain. I faced the starkest cultural contradiction I’d experienced during my five years studying in the United States.
Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from “The Lion King”?
In my village in Zimbabwe, surrounded by wildlife conservation areas, no lion has ever been beloved, or granted an affectionate nickname. They are objects of terror.
Protesters have called for the death of the hunter who killed Cecil the lion. Credit Eric Miller/Reuters
When I was 9 years old, a solitary lion prowled villages near my home. After it killed a few chickens, some goats and finally a cow, we were warned to walk to school in groups and stop playing outside. My sisters no longer went alone to the river to collect water or wash dishes; my mother waited for my father and older brothers, armed with machetes, axes and spears, to escort her into the bush to collect firewood.
A week later, my mother gathered me with nine of my siblings to explain that her uncle had been attacked but escaped with nothing more than an injured leg. The lion sucked the life out of the village: No one socialized by fires at night; no one dared stroll over to a neighbor’s homestead.
When the lion was finally killed, no one cared whether its murderer was a local person or a white trophy hunter, whether it was poached or killed legally. We danced and sang about the vanquishing of the fearsome beast and our escape from serious harm.
Recently, a 14-year-old boy in a village not far from mine wasn’t so lucky. Sleeping in his family’s fields, as villagers do to protect crops from the hippos, buffalo and elephants that trample them, he was mauled by a lion and died.
The killing of Cecil hasn’t garnered much more sympathy from urban Zimbabweans, although they live with no such danger. Few have ever seen a lion, since game drives are a luxury residents of a country with an average monthly income below $150 cannot afford.
Your argument is disingenuous at best--comparing killing a lion that poses a threat to human life to luring a lion out of protected habitat...
Don’t misunderstand me: For Zimbabweans, wild animals have near-mystical significance. We belong to clans, and each clan claims an animal totem as its mythological ancestor. Mine is Nzou, elephant, and by tradition, I can’t eat elephant meat; it would be akin to eating a relative’s flesh. But our respect for these animals has never kept us from hunting them or allowing them to be hunted. (I’m familiar with dangerous animals; I lost my right leg to a snakebite when I was 11.)
The American tendency to romanticize animals that have been given actual names and to jump onto a hashtag train has turned an ordinary situation — there were 800 lions legally killed over a decade by well-heeled foreigners who shelled out serious money to prove their prowess — into what seems to my Zimbabwean eyes an absurdist circus.
PETA is calling for the hunter to be hanged. Zimbabwean politicians are accusing the United States of staging Cecil’s killing as a “ploy” to make our country look bad. And Americans who can’t find Zimbabwe on a map are applauding the nation’s demand for the extradition of the dentist, unaware that a baby elephant was reportedly slaughtered for our president’s most recent birthday banquet.
We Zimbabweans are left shaking our heads, wondering why Americans care more about African animals than about African people.
Don’t tell us what to do with our animals when you allowed your own mountain lions to be hunted to near extinction in the eastern United States. Don’t bemoan the clear-cutting of our forests when you turned yours into concrete jungles.
And please, don’t offer me condolences about Cecil unless you’re also willing to offer me condolences for villagers killed or left hungry by his brethren, by political violence, or by hunger.

247  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crime and Punishment on: August 05, 2015, 09:01:52 AM
Then keep them locked up, but the mass use of long term solitary seems over the top to me.
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 05, 2015, 01:11:14 AM
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: August 04, 2015, 07:56:58 PM
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rachel Maddow scores one on Cruz on: August 04, 2015, 07:53:18 PM
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